‘Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo’
(you strike the women, you strike the rock)
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
~ Maya Angelou
On the 9th August 1956, Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams led a multi-racial march of more than 20 000 South African women who joined together in protest against Prime Minister J. G. Strijdom’s proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950 (also known as “the pass laws”). After delivering 14 000 petitions which voiced their opposing to the amendments, the protestors stood silenced for 30 minutes and then began singing ‘Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo’ (you strike the women, you strike the rock).
The courage and strength that these women displayed have now become synonymous with the struggle of women in South African. A struggle that is ongoing.
Since its inception, National Women’s Day has been used to highlight the challenges that South African women’s still face. Women are facing problems in education of girls, to the abuse of women, to the fight for equal pay; the struggle of the ordinary South African women continues.
It is a crying shame that our beloved land and the civilized world witnesses those great atrocities against the South African women and children. The men who are abusers and molesters in South Africa carry deep-seated hatred and disregard to the women.
Abusers treat women like objects. They sexually abuse them and then they murder and throw their bodies away.
It is encouraging to note that there are men out there who look at women and treat them as equals with respect. They look at the female gender as their mothers, sisters and daughters and they are loving and protective.
Men are encouraged to speak out against their male friends who abuse women and children. No person deserves to be subject to violence irrespective of gender, race or culture. Any person who perpetuates such acts of violence is despicable. They do not deserve to belong to the human race as they are such a disgrace.
There has to be a piercing into the silence for humanity to break forth.
The Bible says that God created man ,both male and female and they are equal. God is JUDGE and he shall judge every person for their acts and thoughts in their bodies. As much as we have immutable divine laws, our natural laws of justice of our land convicts criminals. Our courts need to uphold the women and children and to meet out harsh sentences so that they can be a deterrent to deter other men from perpetuating these heinous acts of violence on women and children.
During Lockdown level 5 and 4 of the pandemic, the women and children were most vulnerable as they had to be in the home with their Abusers. The family courts and clinics were inundated with over 70 000 cases of violence against women and children. It is indeed, a crying shame that the innocent call out.
How long is our society going to tolerate this aberrant behaviour of Abusers and how long weak-minded Abusers can vent their rage and insecurities whilst fully expecting women and children to be their punching bags?
Enough Is Enough- Harsh Jail Terms Abusers.
- They are a menace to society and they need help to rehabilitate them to bring the humanity into their souls and take responsibility for their criminal acts;
- Our leaders to legislate greater protection and security for women and children and to create an atmosphere to show a great respect for women and children. If the head is rotten then the whole body is rotten. Our leaders need to be conscious of the ethos they project and to transfer this culture of no violence to all spheres of life.
- Specialised social reform and infrastructure to be put in place.
- Our Courts and law enforcers need to expose them and shame them to protect other women and children .Our courts need to emulate other courts to bring forth punitive restoration to victims and inflict equal harm to the criminal.
- More safe Houses and more economic support for women to move out of abusive situations;
- More protection and emotional counselling to deal with trauma.
- The legal structures, both the courts and the police force need to be compassionate and to be effective to assist the women and children so that women and children can receive all the help they can get.
- Community projects to equip women to defend themselves and to have awareness to prevent any acts of violence.
- Schools to teach the youth to respect and be kind to each other.
- No bullying to be tolerated at schools and immediate intervention of the law and social workers need to deal with it.
- Parents to teach their children to respect and to appreciate each other. Love and discipline to keep children to respect others. Abusers blame their actions on a lousy and destructive childhood or bad friends. Love and respect starts in the home and children watch how husbands and wives treat each other. We, as parents, cannot expect society or the state to teach our children. At the end of the day, the arrow points to us whilst other people are hurt and in trauma.
- Religious institutions need to enforce peaceful teachings and help in social reform and to sow good seeds for a good society to benefit all.
However, if our shared history has proved anything, it is this: that…
“Whenever women gather together failure is impossible.”
~ Susan B. Anthony.